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Scientific Illiteracy is Costing Us Dearly

As some of my readers may know, I was a schoolteacher before I became a doctor. And before I was a schoolteacher, I earned a degree in Zoology (a science), and before that, I was pretty much a science nerd my whole life. Makes sense, as my dad and his brothers are all engineers and construction types, guys who like to measure and cut and  fabricate and do it the right way, so that stuff doesn’t fall apart. 

Making stuff that doesn’t fall apart requires science. So does healing people. In fact, the entire fabric of modern civilization is founded on a huge and incredibly solid foundation of scientific knowledge, and its continued progress is quietly advanced by millions of people working to advance technology through the application of science. 

Nations such as China, Singapore, Russia, Germany (well, most of Europe, really) seem to understand this and they stress science education in their education systems from primary grades onward. Kids who do well in scientific disciplines in elementary school advance to special middle schools where they get further education and then they move on to the highest level of secondary education, where science (and math, the primary partner of science) is strongly emphasized. These nations have decided that their national interests, including their economic well-being, depends upon having a large population of persons who understand science. 

Not so in the United States. Science education prior to college in this country is sadly lacking, and it’s getting worse. 

Compared to our neighbor to the north, Canada, our high school science curriculums are pathetic. Canadian students have to complete three years of science class just to get a basic high school diploma. If they want to attend university, they need more than that. If they want to study engineering or sciences at university, they need at least 5 year-long science classes, and many kids will have 9 or more credits in biology, chemistry, and physics at the very least. 

American kids have to obtain 3 credits, if that. And the quality of the classes is almost comical. Let’s take chemistry for an example. (I taught chemistry at the high school level in Canada for 8 years, so it’s the subject I’m most familiar with.)  When my kids were in high school in Wisconsin, I reviewed the courses available to them. I was amazed to see that the Chemistry subject material being taught at the highest level was equivalent to what Canadian kids learn in 10th grade. And I know from my training that Canadian kids’ science education is about a year behind that of kids in European schools. And I understand from my teacher  colleagues that this applies to Biology and Physics as well. 

Think about it: this means that American high school graduates are 3 full years behind their European counterparts in the sciences. 

Let’s take it one depressing step farther: I was an adjunct insructor at a Midwest college for a couple years, teaching Pharmacology. This was supposed to be a 3rd-year level class, which means the kids taking it had to have at least 3 credits in sciences already, at least one of which was freshman Chemistry. I had to “dumb it down” for these kids as they did not have Organic Chem or Biochem background; nonetheless, I was amazed to find that most of my students had only a vague grasp of such fundamental concepts as hydrogen bonding, electron valences, and polarity, let alone more advanced (and necessary!) concepts such as chirality!

I concluded long ago that Americans are in large part scientifically illiterate. And it’s only going to get worse. 

The current Anthropogenic Global Warming hysteria is a classic example. The only reason this absurd hoax has gained a toehold in our collective consciousness is that Americans are simultaneously addicted to the greatest swarm of electronic “information” propagation in history (mainstream media and social media) while simultaneously being almost completely clueless about the fundamentals of science. 

Dr. Patrick Moore, a highly respected ecologist, gave a speech recently that I have posted on my Facebook page. In this short speech, Dr. Moore ripped back the curtain of obfuscation and lies perpetrated by the AGW alarmists and presented some very plain, very solid scientific facts that conclusively demonstrate that there is nothing whatsoever to worry about… except that the  powers that be may well wreck the global economy by buying into the lies. Dr. Moore just touches on the fact that the AGW hysteria could never have got off the ground if most Americans were not scientifically illiterate. 

As he points out, the popular view of ecology has gone from viewing mankind as an integral part of the global ecosystem to viewing our species as a blight on the planet which the planet would best be rid of. This is simply insane. If the people who believe this were in any way rational, they would immediately apply the logical solution to the problem and commit suicide. But they are not logical. Their eco-view isn’t based on science, it’s based on what they feel, what they believe. 

In other words, it’s become a religion. And apparently they want the rest of us, the ones who don’t believe as they do, to die first. 

Unfortunately, it may be too late to reverse this trend before disaster strikes. I am deeply concerned that this new anti-human religion is about to take a page out of the Koran and, following the examples of Islamist zealots, spawn a rash of ecoterrorism against the rest of humanity in the name of Gaia.

Troubling thoughts.  


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So you didn’t use algebra today… Oh, really?

I came across a meme on Facebook the other day that said, “Just checked, and I didn’t use algebra once today.”

The implication of this facile message is that algebra–and by extension, any subject you didn’t like when you were in school–was a pointless exercise, a useless time-waster, a needless instrument of torture that you were forced to endure by a cruel and unfeeling education system.

But nothing could be further from the truth!

In the first place, despite the fact that you didn’t notice it, you used the skills you learned in middle-school and high-school algebra dozens, maybe even hundreds, of times today.  I know, I know… you didn’t use a single x, y, or = sign, you didn’t solve a single quadratic equation, you didn’t follow a single identity equation to its logical conclusion even once. But that’s not the point. Multiple times today, you used the skills you learned in algebra unconsciously, because you were busy thinking about other things. And what you really learned in those tedious algebra classes was how to think.

I discovered this crucial fact in 1976, when I was in university. I had completed by B.Sc. degree in Zoology, and realizing that my degree was worthless in terms of finding gainful employment unless I went on to graduate school, I elected to take a second degree in Education. This entailed a single year at the time, which involved a year of Education classes that I thought were ridiculously easy at the time, and essentially worthless except that they would get me to my goal, i.e., a teaching certificate and a decent job. But after only a couple of days in class, I became fascinated by the process of how kids (and adults, to some degree) learn, and what the benefits of learning are.

To cut to the chase, algebra teaches kids incredibly useful skills that they need to function in a complex society. Among these are such essential skills as higher-order pattern recognition and the most critically important cognitive skill of all, logic.

Algebra teaches us, by recognition and repitition, the process of logical thought. If a, then b, and if b, then c,, means that by logical extension, if a, then c. 

“Oh, yeah, everybody knows that,” the simpleton scoffs.  

Well, everybody does not know that. If they did, we wouldn’t be facing a crisis of unemployment and personal economic disaster all over the country. Huge numbers of Americans are not employable because they don’t employ anything above the most rudimentary logic in their lives. Sure, they understand if a, then b. But that’s about it. “If I don’t get some money, I won’t be able to eat.” Which is about as complicated as the untrained mind can function. The extension of logic that gets someone from Premise A to Conclusion C, let alone Conclusion F, G, or Z, is beyond them. So they can’t perform the higher-order functions necessary in any form of skilled labor.

Logic is essential to the application of the mind to complex processes. People who are incapable of using higher-order logic are cognitive cripples. And since our nation has advanced to being a highly technological civilization, we can’t afford to allow our schools to keep spitting out cognitive cripples and falsely calling them High School Graduates.

If every American knew that, and applied that process to life, we wouldn’t be in the mess America is in today. We would have an ample supply of educated, disciplined thinking people to fill our workforce. And we would have ample jobs to employ them. But we don’t have those things, in no small part due to the fact that the ignorant and evil-minded among us have been crying for 50 years that algebra is a tool of the bourgeoisie, or that algebra is not needed in “real life”, or that it is a tool of the white man to oppress the man of color. So we have dumbed down our schools. We have made algebra “optional”. We have eliminated the most important tool for teaching our children logic that we have in our arsenal. And as a result we have a population led by emotion, by impulse, and by the cult of celebrity… all of which would be impossible to imagine if logic had not ceased to be at the core of our collective consciousness.

This is very dangerous for America.

America is supposed to be a nation of laws, and all of us are equal before the law. And by logical extension, if that principle is undermined, the foundation of America is in jeopardy. It’s simple logic. And we ignore that logic at our peril.

Think about this example: if someone violates National Security law with their private communication, that person is by definition a criminal. If a, then b, right? And if someone violates that law, in fact commits a felony by their action, that person is by definition a felon, right? If b, then c, right? Okay: so if that person violates the law, s/he can and should be prosecuted, convicted, and face all the consequences of being a felon, right?

Sure! You say.  And I agree with you. Even if that person is a good person, who has done a lot of good, if they violate such a serious law, they should face the consequences. And that is exactly what happened to General David Patraeus when he violated our National Security laws.

But Hillary Clinton has by her own admission commited the same violation if not worse, and it seems she will not be held to the same law as General Petraeus was. She is by all logic a felon, pure and simple. And our laws say that a felon cannot vote, and cannot hold public office. Yet she is at this time the front-runner for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the presidency. This defies logic!

And this is very, very dangerous for America.

Disparage algebra at your peril, people.



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“Center Mass” Again? Come ON, people, wake up!!!

A good friend of mine forwarded a Facebook post to me today, and I read it with interest. It’s a well-written account of an OIS in which “center mass” hits failed to stop an armed and aggressive felon. If you want to read the account, please open this link:

The first thing I must say is that in my opinion Officer Soulis did an outstanding job in this gunfight. Did he make some mistakes? A lot of people on Facebook seem to think so, and they’re not shy about pointing Soulis’s “errors” out. But I wasn’t there, and I refuse to second-guess a copper’s actions in a deadly force incident without a FULL set of facts.

Second thing: Soulis did several vital things that ended this encounter in a positive manner. That is to say, he lived, and he stopped the perpetrator’s attack. He was surprised by the felon’s aggressive resonse to his questioning, but he recognized the presence of danger and responded appropriately before the perpetrator could opportunistically murder him. He put bullets into the bad guy, and even though he was hit multiple times by bullets, he did not stop fighting. In fact, he actually escalated his level of counter-aggression.

So on the face of it, I think this officer did a pretty damn good job.

But here’s a hint as to the root of a correctable problem: the author of this article states that  “Palmer had taken 22 hits from Soulis’ .40-caliber Glock, 17 of which had hit center mass“.

The author’s implication is that a “center mass” hit is a good hit. And that, my friends, is where we descend from good tactical analysis into the Land of Bullshit.

If you’ve attended my Shooting With Xray Vision class (SXRV), or you’ve read my book, you have heard me say this before:  there is no such thing as Center Mass.  In 6 years of undergraduate and graduate level science, I never once read or heard of an anatomic structure called “center mass”. In all my years of medical school and postgraduate residency, I never read or heard of a medical term called “center mass”. And in 40 years of hunting animals for food with rifles, handguns, bows, blowguns, atlatl’s, and other weapons, I never once heard another hunter tell me to aim for “center mass”.

The reason for that is that outside of police circles, the term does not exist. And for good reason. It’s a bullshit term that has no relevance to reality. People use the term “center mass” because they’re lazy and ignorant. Sorry if that offends you, but that’s the bottom line. People who use the term “center mass” are admitting for all intents and purposes that they have no idea that critical structures of the human body exist in the human body that need to be interdicted by a police bullet to stop a felon’s violent actions. They are admitting that they have no idea where those vital structures are, and they have no idea how to visualize those anatomic structures in a real live human body. 

If you don’t know a fact, you are ignorant of that fact. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But if that fact is highly relevant to your job, continuing to not know that fact is willful ignorance. And if your job involves training cops how to win and survive deadly force situations, not knowing that fact is in my opinion gross negligence.  And if you fail to learn the fact you are ignorant of and you fail to incorporate it into your training, you’re not only negligent, you’re lazy.

In other words, police firearms instructors who continue to use the term “center mass” in training their officers are, to borrow a phrase from Chief Jeff Chudwin, “occupying a uniform that rightfully belongs to someone else.”


Defining Center Mass

In 2003, I stood up in front of 18 police LE instructors in a classroom and asked them to take out a sheet of paper and write down the definition of “center mass”, and pass them forward. During the break I read through them and was only slightly amazed to read 18 different definitions. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, because there is no credible publication anywhere that adequatly defines this bullshit term.

I then proceeded with the full SXRV  curriculum, and all 18 officers passed the final evaluation with flying colors. In the end-of-day debrief, I asked each the class to raise their hands if they thought that “center mass” was useful term in training police officers in the use of dealdy force. Not one hand was raised. And one veteran officer said, “Training cops to shoot ‘center mass’ is getting good cops killed.” As each of those officers discovered, just because you think you know what center mass means doesn’t mean that the green recruit you’re training knows what you mean. And it for damn sure doesn’t mean that the armed and aggressive felon shooting at you gives a tinker’s goddam that you think you know what center mass might be!

Training cops in something that is going to get them killed is gross negligence, pure and simple.


A Better Alternative: Mediastinum, or High Chest

In Tacical Anatomy’s SXRV training, we teach relevant human target anatomy, not meaningless bullshit like “center mass”. We demonstrate to students in easily-grasped demonstrations exactlywhere the relevant target anatomy is located, and we teach our students how to visualize that anatomy in three dimensions. Which means a cop who is trained in SXRV is able to place his or her bullets where they will do the most good in the shortest time frame. The primary target area we teach is the mediastinum, or the high chest. This is both easier and harder than it sounds… trust me, you need to take the class to get the full understanding of what I’m saying. But that’s not all (cripes, I’m starting to sound like a late-night commercial for a Salad Shooter!): we also teach alternate target zones if the high chest isn’t available, or if bullets going into the primary target area are ineffective.


Better Hits = Better Outcomes

When cops learn precisely where to place their shots in an OIS, they make better hits and they miss less often. Don’t take my word for it, look at the data from agencies that have adopted SXRV for their firearms training programs. Oh, wait, you can’t look; police agencies still consider that info highly proprietary and highly classified. So you’ll have to take my word for it, after all. Sorry about that.

Example One: large midwestern metro department, 2000+ officers. In the 3 years after they eliminated “center mass” targeting and completed SXRV training for all officers,  their OIS hit ratio rose from ~20% to 94%. Of 34 felons shot in 36 OIS’s, 27 were permanently removed from the criminal population. And in those 36 OIS’s not one officer was shot.

Example Two: a smallish West Coast sheriff’s office, ~50 deputies. In the two years after they eliminated “center mass” targeting and completed their SXRV training, they had a dozen OIS’s, 98% hit ratio, and 100% permanent removal of relevant felons from rescidivism. Again, zero officer casualties.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Providing better training to police officers on where to shoot the bad guys rather than flipping them off with a bullshit term like “center mass” is a training concept that our LEO’s deserve to get from us, their trainers. Shooting with xray vision stops felonious behavior before cops or innocent bystanders can be injured by violent felons.

Better hits result in better outcomes.

It’s time to purge the bullshit terms and techniques from police training so that we can guarantee the best possible outcomes from our OIS’s. “Center mass” is a term that was always bullshit. It’s time we turn it into antique bullshit.

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May 30, 2015 Classes: SXRV and TTGSW – Saukville, WI

A few years ago I held a Tactical Anatomy Instructor Course at Milwaukee, WI. Police firearms instructors from all over the upper midwest attended, and we had a great, great class, in which 25 LE instructors learned how to train their officers in the principles of Shooting With Xray Vision (SXRV).

But what came out of that class was the stuff of legend. 

One particular agency sent its entire Firearms Training Unit staff to this class, and after it was done they went home and put together a plan to train all 2200 officers in their agency in SXRV’s anatomically-correct targeting techniques. Administrative approval was given, and the FTU started a 2-year inservice program to take their officers to “the next level” in handgun combatives. The course of 8 half-day inservice courses over that 2 year span was based on the Tactical Anatomy Shooting WIth Xray Vision class and concept… and was designed to revolutionize the way cops shoot bad guys in their city. 

I had the privilege of attending a few of the last inservice sessions in this series as a guest teacher, and I was impressed by the confidence these rank-and-file officers got out of the training. At the end of the class I overheard one longterm veteran copper say to his partner, “I used to be scared to death of getting into a shooting scenario… but now I’m not only not afraid, I know I’ll win if I have to shoot it out with a bad guy.” (FYI, he used a more colorful expression than “bad guy”.)

Here’s the payoff of that department’s SXRV program: they went from an  “average” police agency (compared to national data) to a team of gunfighting experts. Over the next 3 years, they went from a less than 20% hit ratio to over 90% round accountability. That’s right, NINETY percent of their bullets hit the bad guys after this training! Moreover, the number of OIS’s in that time period was 34, and 27 of these resulted in permanent removal of the offender from the criminal element. Best of all, not a single police officer was shot, wounded, or killed in those 34 deadly force encounters. And the total number of  OIS’s in that time period dropped nearly 50%! These are the kinds of numbers that even city administrators and risk management pukes can get behind. 

At this point, 15 years after I started teaching SXRV, dozens of American police forces have incorporated the principles of anatomic-target based combat shooting into their firearms training, and thousands of private armed citizens have done so as well. The outcomes across America mirror the experience of the midwestern city police force I just told you about.  Shooting With Xray Vision is one of the most powerful success stories in law enforcement firearms use in the past half century, and most people are completely unaware of it.

Why have law enforcement agencies embraced SXRV? Because, as SIMUNITION inventor Ken Murray wrote in my books’ foreword, “Society does not expect cops to enjoy shooting people; but it EXPECTS THEM TO BE GOOD AT IT!”  And quite simply, the SXRV gives cops (and private citizens) the tools they need to get good at it! The principles and training in SXRV can take ordinary shooters and turn them into exceptional shooters when it counts and your life is on the line. 

I’ll be teaching an 8-hour SXRV class at the Saukville WI police department on May 30, 2015. This course is open to law enforcement and non-sworn civilians with proof of good character (concealed carry license, MAG alumni status, etc). Class will start at 0830 and will conclude at 1630 sharp. 

I will also be offering a 6-hour Tactical Treatment of Gunshot Wounds (TTGSW) class on Sunday, May 31, at the same location. This is a unique class that you can’t get anywhere else from any other tac med instructor, in which I combine my 25 years experience as an ER trauma physician with my experience as a SWAT officer and medic to offer a full-spectrum course on treating and surviving trauma in the combat zone. You will get an intensive short course in human anatomy and physiology, triage, recognition of life-threatening emergencies, and the tools/techniques you need to address these emergencies. Training will be a combination of classroom learning and hands-on training. I strongly recommend that you have at least BLS training prior to taking this class. Like SXRV, TTGSW is open to any citizen of good character. 

Tuition is $100 for each class. (If you’ve previously taken SXRV, you can take it again for half price.)  You can register for the class through the Tactical Anatomy website using your credit card, or you can contact my partner David Maglio (phone 414-659-5811) to register in person with cash/check payment. For further information on the class contact me at, or David at

(IMPORTANT NOTE: if you are a trainer/cop coming to Wisconsin that weekend to attend Davied Maglio’s retirement party, you can sign up for one or both classes and write off the whole trip!) 

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Lateral Pelvis… “The Best Worst Option”?

Yes, that’s right… an online expert has declared the lateral pelvis as the “best worst option” for the tactical shooter, whatever that means.

I’ve read a number of online blurbs & blogs about this topic, and have mostly dismissed them as unworthy of response. But this one got my attention. Not just for the confusing title, but for the surprising amount of verbage in the article that appears to have been lifted directly from my book, Tactical Anatomy Instructor Manual (TAIM; copyright 2006). I’m not saying it’s plagiarism, because you can’t say that when someone has copied a term or a phrase or even a partial sentence. But it’s clear enough to me that either the author, or someone the author knows, has read my book and copied some of my words directly.

Which is not a big deal, as long as the author(s) use my words to  promote tactical advice I endorse. That happens a LOT (which tells me a lot more people have read my book or my magazine articles than I thought). But when someone turns around and says the opposite of what I teach using my terminology, that sticks in my craw more than a litte.

Let’s put it this way… prior to the publication of the TAIM, I had found nothing in the laymen’s press  stating that “there are only two reliable means of incapacitation by GSW: CNS disruption, or rapid, incapacitating disruption of blood flow to the CNS.”  This is a phrase I’ve been using in my lectures and in my SXRV training since 2002, and I’ve seen it repeated in multiple sources both online and in print since my book came out in 2006.  So when someone uses this exact same phrase in their writing, and uses it to supposedly prove a point that contradicts my position on the matter, I get a little bit miffed. 

(Author’s note, added Dec. 11, 2016:  Please let me emphasize: I wrote the above phrase and used it in my book, but the concept is not my intellectual property nor my own invention… it is an axiom of wound ballistics and terminal effects, going back to Dr. Martin Fackler’s work in the 1970’s and Dr. Gary Roberts’ work in the 1980’s, the numerous contributors to the IWBA Journal,  and beyond; I do not mean to give the impression that this is anything I discovered or promulgated on my own! I read the wound ballistics literature of these, my predecessors, and assure you that nothing I have done through my training or through TAS could have been accomplished without the foundation works of these authors.)

However, I made it clear in the TAIM and I make it clear in all my talks & classes that there are exceptions to this rule. And ONE of those is a lateral pelvis shot that fractures the bony structures of that region (the “weight-bearing triangle”, an orthopedic surgical term), WHEN the subject is armed with a contact weapon. A contact weapon is an edged weapon or a bludgeon.

Some authors, such as the “best-worst” guy, point out that a bad guy lying on the ground with a shattered fem, aur can still fight. Well, duh. I wish I’d thought of that… oh, wait, I already did!!  Read the book, Sherlock!

I covered this in detail in the first 2 pages of the chapter on lateral pelvis shots. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that a bad guy with a firearm who’s got a busted leg can still shoot you, and he can still fight you if you close with him. But we’re not talking about bad guys with guns, for the most part. We’re talking about bad guys with contact weapons. The POINT of shooting a contact-weapon-armed adversary in the lateral pelvis is to KEEP HIM FROM COMING INTO CONTACT WITH YOU. He can’t stab you if you’re 2 steps away. He can’t hit you with his tire iron if you’re 10 feet away. And if your adversary can no longer offer you harm with his contact weapon, you don’t have to shoot him again. You can wait for backup to arrive to help subdue him… he sure as hell isn’t going to run away from you!

The plain fact is that police (and righteous armed citizens) are FAR more likely to encounter a criminal attacker armed with contact weapons than they are with a bad guy carrying a gun. The statistics are pretty clear on this.  Being able to stop a potentially deadly attack by a guy with an edged weapon without killing him is a nice tool to have in your toolbox, most of us good guys agree! 

Curiously, the critics don’t talk much about this. And the author of the “best-worst” piece certainly didn’t offer any cases where a lateral pelvis shot failed.

But, being the nice guy that I am, I will offer you not one, but TWO real-world cases where a lateral pelvis shot stopped the attack and saved at least one life. These are not hypothetical cases. These aren’t internet rumors. These are real life cases, not something I heard from a guy who heard it from another guy. I spoke directly with the officers involved in these shootings, and I have verified the pertinent facts through corroborating evidence. I could cite upwards of a dozen more cases, but these two stand out in my mind because they were two of the earliest successful lateral pelvis shootings by some of my SXRV students.


Multiple officers in a mid-size Midwestern city responded to a call to an angry man with a knife. One of the responding officers, who had taken my Shooting With Xray Vision class (SXRV), retrieved his department-issue shotgun from his squad car as he exited the vehicle. He saw that the subject had a large knife in his hand. The subject was shouting and cursing at the responding officers, threatening to attack. The officer in question took aim at the subject’s lateral pelvis and fired one round of 00 buckshot (this was Federal ammunition, with the Flite-Control wad). The buckshot entered the subject’s pelvis and shattered the head of the femur and the acetabulum. The subject fell to the ground immediately, and offered no further violence. He subsequently had to have the leg amputated at the hip.


A police firearms instructor in a large Midwestern city was off duty, visiting his girlfriend in her home, when he heard a vehicle alarm. He looked out the window and saw a man trying to break into his personal vehicle with a large screwdriver. The officer, who is a nationally-ranked champion shooter, ran out and confronted the felon. The subject responded by advancing on the officer with the screwdriver as his weapon and threatening his life. The officer, who has not only taken SXRV but teaches it to his department’s personnel as part of their firearms training program, recognized the possibility of stopping the attack without killing the subject, and shot him in the lateral pelvis (double-tap) with his service pistol. The subject’s pelvis was fractured (the right ileum, as I understand) which was both very painful and made standing on the right leg structurally impossible. The subject fell to the ground immediately and ceased the attack. He was taken to hospital and survived his GSW.

Notice that in both the above cases nobody was hurt except the bad guy. And as the second officer told me, it was a huge relief to him to know he could shoot the bad guy without having to kill him. As it happens, he knew the subject to be a juvenile, and the son of a neighbor. The death of this boy at his hands would have been devastating to him. 

Now, I’ll offer you a freebie. Don’t tell anyone.


This isn’t a single case. The guy I’m talking about here was a cop in a third world country, a former colony of a European power, and who went on to serve in that country’s special forces unit. After that, he worked in executive protection for another country outside the CONUS for a number of years, and eventually moved to the USA to open a shooting school. This school was very good, very hard to get into, and it wasn’t around very long because some people who have much deeper pockets than you and I gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Since then, he’s been the fulltime trainer of a group of very high-speed low-drag tip-of-the-spear guys a lot of us admire who do good work in the GWOT. This guy (I’ll call him “Harry”, not his real name) has been teaching the use of lateral pelvis shots for a lot longer than I have. Harry’s been teaching lateral pelvis shooting as part of his CQB package because he’s actually shot multiple bad guys in the lateral pelvis, multiple times over multiple years, in multiple jurisdictions; and Harry’s served alongside other guys who’ve done a lot of the same kind of stuff. And Harry is a strong proponent of this tactical expedient… because it works.


This is not a theoretical discussion, unlike the blog written by “best-worst” guy.  I’m not citing a bunch of medical papers to prove my point, because as a trauma physician I know very, very, very few doctors who have any experience in shooting people… and aside from myself, I only know a handful of medical doctors in the USA who have enough tactical training and experience to even comment on this subject. I’m not offering the opinions of a bunch of supposed experts who have never actually done what they say can’t really be done…. I’m offering examples of real guys who’ve BTDT and got blood on their shirts doing it.

Shooting bad guys in the lateral pelvis is not an “entry level” tactical tool. I don’t recommend it to new shooters, and it don’t recommend it to IDPA/IPSC or other recreational shooters for their home defense planning. I only teach this tool to people who have the advanced firearms skills, anatomic knowledge, and tactical training to implement it effectively. I do cover it in my lectures and in my SXRV classes, with some significant limitations… and the only class I train people in this skill (outside of special classes for SWAT/military personnel) is my Deadly Force Decisions class, which I co-teach with my great friend and training partner David Maglio.

I don’t intend this to be the final word on lateral pelvis shots. But like I more or less said in the beginning of this blog entry, I’ll be damned if I’ll let some armchair trainer use my own words to say the opposite of what I teach.

 Train with good trainers, and keep your skills sharp.